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One of the avenues through which we seek to grow the Group’s businesses is the acquisition of business entities, operating assets, intellectual property or entry into joint ventures. M&A risks include, inter alia, underestimating the scale, scope and work required for integration, inability to meet the projected financial performance, failure to realise synergies, loss of key personnel and the inability to meld different cultures. A robust framework is in place encompassing the full spectrum of an M&A transaction, from screening to due diligence, approvals and integration.

A group M&A process has been developed to manage M&A transactions, from screening and due diligence to approvals and integration. M&A activities are championed by the business units and supported by the M&A team, internal Finance and Tax, legal, HR and IT teams and augmented by external professional advisers for specialised services. Risks are identified by each of these work streams for review by the approving authorities. A cross-functional integration team is formed to mitigate the risks identified. Post-acquisition progress is reported at agreed intervals to the Executive Office to track performance against targets and to review lessons learnt. Risks and integration matters are reviewed and reported at the meetings of the respective Risk and Audit Committees and the Risk Sustainability Review Committee.